Who is Elena Ferrante?


Elena Ferrante is the newest Italian sensation.  She isn’t a model or a movie star. She is a Neapolitan author who has written three best sellers in Italy and now is catching on in the US.  No one really knows much about her, including what her real name is.

Her novels center on the lives of Elena and Lila, two bright, young girls from a working class neighborhood in Naples.  Her newest novel “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” deals with Elena and Lila, who are now in their twenties and has recently been published in the US.

There has been much speculation as to who Ferrante is.  One source suggests that Ferrante is really a man.  That idea seems preposterous by those who have read her work.  “She brings an unforgiving clarity to the female experience.  To me it’s apparent that it can’t possibly be a man,” says her American publisher, Kent Carroll, who has never met or spoken with the author.  Only her Italian publishers, a husband and wife, know her true identity.

Perhaps the unwillingness to promote herself is intriguing to readers.  Her American publisher, however, feels she would benefit from publicizing herself and her novels, but respects and honors her decision not to do so.


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